04 November 2010

Lindsay Lohan's rehab stint potentially less costly if she takes the PETA-vegan plunge

Some addictions are nearly impossible to break. Chocolate? Check. Vampire-themed entertainment with six pack abs-tacular bloodsuckers? Good-God, yes. Uncontrollable carnivorism? Uhhh, I suppose it's possible...

In typical PETA style, the ever-outspoken, constantly headline-making animal rights organization is taking advantage of the sad reality of Lindsay Lohan’s chronic addiction to alcohol and various drugs. While partially basking in her unenviable spotlight, they've made a point of highlighting the troubled star’s OTHER addiction…to animal protein, that is. While it remains to be seen if the actress (who not too long ago whittled down her middle to frail, Kate Moss-heroine-chic-like proportions) has ever indeed resorted to shooting and/or snorting chicken, beef, pork and fish, her much chronicled legal and financial woes have compelled PETA to extend a helping hand, if only to further promote their cause.

Rolling out the red carpet for one more high profile vegan convert isn’t a bad thing – in fact, it sends a very positive message to mainstream consumers that ‘If they can do it, I can, too!’ However, the always unconventional animal rights group’s latest move -- to partially bankroll Lilo's stint at the Betty Ford Clinic as long as she agrees to eschew animal protein – has quite a few die hard plant-eaters up in arms. Why? They feel that the fiscal support should be offered to a more worthy (perhaps even responsible) person or organization.

Given that Lohan is undergoing her fifth court-ordered stint at the infamously pricey substance abuse treatment center (reportedly costing as much as $150,000), it’s pretty safe to say that her impulse control hasn’t been the best. The fair-weather redhead has, up until now, notoriously made and broken countless and purportedly legally binding promises, so what on earth makes PETA think that she will legitimately commit to their vegan request? Talk about a costly $20,000 leap of vegan-faith.

In a letter addressed to the fur-wearing starlet, they suggest that she “rid [herself] of one more toxic substance”, detailing the countless valid reasons why factory-farmed animal products are harmful to humans. They then mention all of the diverse plant-based meat alternatives available to consumers that make a vegan lifestyle all the more doable, throwing in a veggie starter kit and slaughterhouse-themed ‘Glass Walls’ DVD for further illumination.

The Mean Girls actress – who is pursuing treatment until January 3, 2011 – is reportedly seriously considering PETA’s proposal and if the amends she’s currently making with former well-intentioned addiction-breaking friends are any indication, perhaps she’s finally turning her life around. Of course, money does talk, especially when you haven’t had a serious ka-ching-paying gig in years and your expenses are soaring through the roof.

Her own self-deprecating Funny or Die video notwithstanding, several fellow La-La-landers continue to weigh in on Lohan’s current situation. Stephen Baldwin feels that the chronically underemployed actress needs to take even more time off to “just find peace and relax” and movie producer Richard O’Sullivan says that she’s the victim of a double-standard, explaining that she’s no Charlie Sheen and yet the public is more than happy to metaphorically burn her at the stake.

Does the five time rehabber deserve free PETA bucks just for offering the animal rights organization a vegan promise? What do you think about critics' claims that PETA is technically rewarding Lohan for her chronically bad behavior? Based on her track record, does this deal seem like an utter waste of money that could be better spent on more legitimate rescue projects?

Elizah Leigh | @elizahleigh
A dedicated green journalist and currently commissioned to write a comprehensive reference book on vegetarianism, Elizah Leigh hopes to inspire people through her words. Follow Elizah on Facebook.

Photo credit: cc: flickr.com/photos/marca-pasos